London Life Events

London Design Festival at the V&A

September 15, 2014

Every year in September I look forward to The London Design Festival. Now in its 12th year, it’s bigger than ever.

I spend some of the weekend at the V&A, the hub of the Festival. Last year I was honoured to have my work hang in the museum, as part of a collaborative project with Moleskine.

There’s so much to see that you would need a full week just to explore what’s on offer. Part of the program is a full series of talks.

I was delighted to find out that graphic legend Paula Sher, New York based partner of Pentagram, was going to present some of her work and talk about her successful career. A long-time heroine of mine, it was amazing to be in her presence.

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Paula Sher in conversation with Adrian Shaughnessy

Yesterday I returned to the V&A to hear Amsterdam born Irma Boom present her work. Irma specialises in bookmaking and has made more than 250, of which 50 reside in the collection of MoMA in New York.

A true maverick, her constant pushing boundaries and staying true to herself makes her the most interesting designer in her field. It was fascinating to hear that for every project Boom makes a miniature model first.

I loved meeting her.

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Irma Boom presenting some of her work.

Another highlight (in the true sense) at the museum is the Candela installation by a multi-disciplinary team comprising of product designer Felix de Pass, graphic designer Michael Montgomery and ceramicist Ian McIntyre.

A large rotary machine sits centrally, hovering just off the gallery floor. As the face of the machine revolves, it passes through a light source charging its surface, which emits this energy as afterglow. The continual revolution of the machine creates a perpetual ebb and flow of light patterns travelling across the structures.

Photographs don’t do it justice. If you can get to the V&A, make sure you put that on your list.

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Candela installation

While at the museum, pop out to The John Madejski garden. There you’ll see Zaha Hadid‘s Crest. It’s designed as a demountable sculpture to be installed as a permanent feature within the ME Hotel in Dubai which opens in 2016.

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Also in the garden you’ll find The Wish List, a collaborative fusion of design experience. Ten famous names in design and architecture each nominated an emerging talent to collaborate on a very open brief:
“What have you always wanted in your home but never been able to find?”

Paul Smith asked Nathalie de Leval for his ideal shed. It’s 3m x 3m just like his first ever shop in Nottingham.

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The shed from the outside. It’s made from thermo-treated ash.

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Loving the Anglepoise + Paul Smith lamp.

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Those chairs are to die for.

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Interior by Paul Smith and Nicholas Chandor

Other works from ‘The Wish List’, are located close to the entrance of the museum.

I’ll leave you with this incredibly ambitious project. Double space for BMW – precision & poetry in motion. Designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have collaborated with BMW to create a remarkable and memorable experience in the V&A’s Raphael Gallery. The first thing you notice is the sheer size of the space. Truly imposing.

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I’m really enjoying the Festival. I shall be back on Thursday with more Design inspirations. Have a good start to the week everyone.

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  • Reply Catherine @Farmhousehome September 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    It’s great that you’re enjoying the festival and those yellow chairs look so comfy as well as stylish. Looks like there’s plenty of people out & about and it’s wonderful you got to meet Paula and hear her talk., I’m sure you were very inspired. Hope work on your new project (that we’re all dying to hear about!) is going well. Btw we bought a townhouse on Saturday that we absolutely love, with a swimming pool would you believe about 5km from the city, so excited. xxx

    • Reply tina September 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Phew! It’s all over for another year. I always forget how very tiring it is, despite being hugely inspiring…

      Yeah, hearing Paula Sher speak, sitting in the first row and then being able to say something to her was really a highlight for me.
      All going well and WOOHOO, check you out! A townhouse with a swimming pool. Booking my ticket right now:-)
      Massive congratulations lovely xx

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey September 16, 2014 at 11:34 am

    A lot to take in as always at the V&A. Thanks for sharing your highlights Tina & cool you got to enjoy those talks! Gxx

    • Reply tina September 23, 2014 at 9:27 am

      The V&A during the Design Festival is always cool and inspiring.
      The talks were completely fab and a highlight for me… x

  • Reply Alison Sye September 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    So much beautiful imagery to drink in here, Tina.
    I especially like that dark wooden furniture.

    • Reply tina September 23, 2014 at 9:33 am

      The Wish List project was absolutely fab. Loved the Paul Smith rendition…
      hope you got to see something during the festival. x

  • Reply Mary-Ellen September 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Love this post Tina! Always a good read and good to see your take on the V&A as part of the #LDF14. Still dying to hear your news and venture xx

    • Reply tina September 23, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Thanks lovely. Must check your reviews as you were the ultimate roving reporter during this year’s festival.
      And I never even bumped into you.
      Not long now… xx

  • Reply Doris October 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for this post, I missed the V&A this year, just too much to see so I’m glad that you wrote a post on it. Thank You. xD

    • Reply tina October 23, 2014 at 10:35 am

      The V&A this year was stunning during LDF and I really enjoyed meeting Paula Sher and Irma Boom! Both highlights for me xx

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